If yesterday was a “tough day” for Chancellor Kwazi Kwarteng, the coming days do not look any brighter for Prime Minister Truss as the Conservatives are now at war over the government’s benefits policy.
As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised to raise Universal Credit in line with inflation next April, but Liz Truss still refuses to act on his pledge.
“On the subject of benefits, we have not yet made that decision,” said Truss on Tuesday to BBC. “Of course, there will be discussions about the way forward on commitments like benefits, on how we deal with future budgets,” she added.
The Conservative Party members are at odds with the Prime Minister, publicly calling on her to raise benefits in line with inflation. Penny Mordaunt, the House of Commons leader, called on Truss to raise Universal Credit and benefits in line with inflation.
Around 5.7 million people claim this benefit that helps them with their living costs. Benefits are operated each April, usually in line with September’s inflation rate. Many backbenchers made it clear to Truss that any plan that doesn’t see benefits rise won’t get their support. However, as it stands at the moment, Truss has not decided whether to up Universal Credit benefits by 10% inflation.
On Wednesday, at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Liz Truss will address her party members as a leader and Prime Minster in an attempt to pull the party back together. Can Liz Truss survive until the next election?